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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Apps for Property Guardians

Opting for property guardianship presents an excellent opportunity to reduce your monthly housing expenses. However, it’s important to note that properties under guardianship often come unfurnished and guardians are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the premises. Additionally, many of these properties are shared houses, which means coordinating bills, chores, and maintaining clear communication among housemates.  

Luckily, the digital age has brought forth a plethora of innovative apps designed specifically to streamline the process of living in a guardian household. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best apps for property guardians from moving in, maintaining and through to moving on.

Moving In

When it comes to furnishing your new property as a property guardian, it can be overwhelming and costly, especially since most houses are provided unfurnished. Luckily, there is a wide array of excellent apps that can help you acquire free or highly affordable furniture and household items, making the process of furnishing your new home easy, budget-friendly, and sustainable.

These apps thrive on the concept of web communities, with Freecycle and Freegle standing out as major players. These platforms offer free membership and are run by volunteers, serving as local online groups where you can find and give away items. The availability of these groups may vary in different areas, so here are a few more of our favourite recommendations to get you started.

Sharing Bills and Expenses

Many property guardian houses are shared properties, and one of the most crucial aspects of shared living is managing bills and expenses fairly. Splitwise is a fantastic app that simplifies this process. It allows housemates to create and manage a shared expense sheet, keeping track of who owes what and when. The app also sends reminders and notifications, ensuring everyone stays on top of their payments and no one ends up out of pocket.

Household Maintenance

We couldn’t compile a top app guide without including Arthur. Arthur is DEX’s property management portal and tenant app and it is available to all our property guardians. It acts as a one stop shop for reporting and managing property repairs and maintenance issues with the DEX Team. You can also find all your licence agreement information and documentation on the app. You should receive an email inviting you to join when you become a DEX Property Guardian. 

Sharing Chores

Keeping a shared living space clean and tidy can sometimes be a source of tension among housemates. There are many apps on the market that can help and one of our favourites is Chorma, an app designed to streamline chore management and encourage accountability. Guardians can create a chore wheel, assign tasks to individuals, set deadlines, and even integrate a rewards system for added motivation.

Another app is Nipto, which introduces gamification to household chores. This app organises chores into games, allowing housemates to compete and earn points throughout the week, this interactive approach can help make an often tedious task slightly more fun.

Moving Out

When the time comes to move out of your property, it’s likely that you’ve amassed numerous items that are no longer of use to you and must be disposed of before returning the property. Remember, what may be considered junk to you could be a valuable find for someone else. You might be pleasantly surprised by what others would be eager to take off your hands instead of incurring removal costs.

Freecycle and Freegle are again the big names, although there are many others on the market, here are a few of our favourites;   

  • Gumtree – a popular app where people can sell their unwanted belongings for cash as well as giving them away for free.
  • Facebook marketplace – If you have the facebook app to can use facebook marketplace to sell or give away unwanted items.
  • Trash Nothing – An easy to use and active app that allows you to give unwanted but reusable items to people in your local community
  • Olio – A sharing app for local communities where you can give away an array of unwanted items ranging from food to furniture and clothing to books.

If at the end you still have items that need deposing LoveJunk is a waste removal & reuse marketplace providing cheap, safe, eco-friendly removal of bulky waste and junk.

Not found what you are looking for?  Get in contact with the Guardian Management Team, they are always happy to help and provide further advice.

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DEX Become ISO 9001 Accredited

We are thrilled to share that DEX Property Management has successfully been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation. This internationally recognised standard validates our unwavering commitment to the level of service we provide both our guardians and clients.

Throughout the accreditation process, we have diligently developed and implemented a strong quality management system, resulting in improved overall performance and the ability to deliver a consistently high level of quality across all aspects of our operations. Pursuing ISO 9001 accreditation showcases our unwavering dedication to providing our guardians and customers with the utmost level of service while investing in cutting-edge technology and advancements in our field.

To attain ISO 9001 compliance, we underwent a thorough evaluation process, which involved the development of a comprehensive quality management system, meticulous review and audit of our management system documentation, and a comprehensive assessment of our operations.

The attainment of the ISO 9001 certification serves as clear evidence that we have well-defined and robust procedures in place throughout our organisation. As such, we proudly declare that DEX Property Management delivers its services with a strong emphasis on quality and transparency

Quality remains central to everything we do, and we continuously challenge ourselves to enhance our services to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers while adhering to relevant regulations and specifications.

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Property Guardian Gardens – Tips on Getting Them Spring Ready

Property Guardian Gardens

Many property guardian properties (even the inner-city ones) come with outdoor space which guardians are responsible for looking after and maintaining. Spring is the perfect time of year for guardians to put their green fingers into action, transforming their unique gardens into their own oasis’s that can enjoyed all year long. 

Before you get started, looking after a garden in a guardian property comes with a few unique requirements. Here we share some tips and tricks for getting your garden ready for spring in one of our properties.

1. Before you start – speak to us

First of all, before making any major changes to the garden please speak to the DEX team. While we encouraged you to maintain the space, plant flowers or vegetable etc, we would ask you get in contact with us before more major maintenance, such as removing items, carrying out any excessive pruning or assembling any more permanent garden structures.

2. Start by assessing your garden space

The first step to getting your garden ready for spring is to assess the space you have available. Take note of the size, shape, and any features in your garden, such as trees or flower beds. This will help you to plan out what you want to do with your garden and how you can make the most of the space you have.

3. Tidy up your garden

Spring is the perfect time to tidy up your garden and get it looking its best. Remove any weeds, dead leaves, and debris that may have accumulated over the winter months. Give your lawn a good rake to remove any dead grass or leaves and consider mowing it to get it looking neat and tidy.

4. Add some colour with potted plants

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your garden is to add some colour with potted plants. You can find affordable plants at your local garden centre or even at the supermarket. Choose plants that are suited to the amount of sunlight your garden receives and don’t forget to water them regularly.

5. Create a mini herb garden

Another way to add some life to your garden is by creating a mini herb garden. Not only will this add some greenery to your garden, but you’ll also be able to enjoy fresh herbs in your cooking. You can plant herbs in pots or even in a small patch of soil in your garden.

6. Add some garden decor

Finally, consider adding some garden decor to make your outdoor space more inviting. You can find affordable garden decor at your local garden centre or even at a charity shops or online. Choose pieces that fit your style and personality, such as a bird feeder, a garden gnome, or some nice outside chairs.

Getting your garden ready for spring as a property guardian doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. With a little bit of creativity and some elbow grease, you can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful oasis that you can enjoy all season long.

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Empty School Buildings Rise As Primary School Enrolment Drops By 16.6%

Primary school enrolment in England is projected to decline by 16.6% over the next decade, resulting in over 750,000 fewer pupils. However, in London, factors such as Brexit, Covid, and high housing costs are contributing to a migration trend, exacerbating the issue.

This surplus in school places creates a financial burden as schools receive funding based on the number of pupils rather than their capacity. According to the Department for Education, Lambeth is predicted to have the highest percentage of unused primary school places at 29.2% next year, with eight out of the top ten areas with the highest proportion of surplus places being London boroughs.

The decrease in pupil numbers is affecting not only state schools but also the approximately 2,600 Catholic schools in England and Wales. The number of Catholic schools has been decreasing dramatically in recent years due to a decline in the Catholic population, competition from other schools, and again, financial strains.


Unfortunately, empty public buildings, such as schools, are attractive to vandals and squatters. They are often in central locations, with multiple access points and due to their commercial status, squatting in them isn’t considered a crime.  Should an empty school be targeted by squatters, owners face a very lengthy and costly court process to get control of the property back.

Some owners of empty schools board up the property, but since many are located in residential areas, this often doesn’t go down well with local residents. Not only do boarded up buildings look unsightly, they are often still susceptible to antisocial behaviour and dilapidation. In addition, as the UK goes through a cost of living and housing crisis, having large, empty, publicly funding buildings, clearly sitting empty doesn’t demonstrate efficacies in public spending.  


However, there is one option that education providers are increasingly turning to, one that makes both economic and social sense – Property Guardianship. It’s an option that benefits not only the property owner, but also the local community and those in need of affordable accommodation.

Thanks to their good transport links and often central locations, schools are often sought after by property guardians. They often have large rooms and plenty of communal space, often even a garden or courtyard.  

On a practical level, schools are often well equipped for hosting property guardians thanks to built-in toilet facilities and kitchens. Any additional features such as showers can easily be fitted and DEX can typically have a building fit for guardians within just 10 days of conducting a site visit.  Should a school face a sudden closure, we can usually place an emergency guardian in the building within just 24 hours.

Guardianship also makes financial sense. Not only are property guardians provided at zero cost, in many cases owners make money back per guardian in situ – turning what would be a cost into a revenue stream. DEX are often able to get the property ready for guardians at no cost to the owner.  

the next steps

If you own an empty school, DEX Property Guardians can provide you with a cost-effective solution that mitigates the risk of vandalism and squatting. Our reliable Guardian security services offer peace of mind, allowing you to focus on new opportunities and even generate additional revenue streams.

Contact us today, and we can arrange to secure your property at no cost to you. Don’t let your unoccupied school become a target for threats – let DEX Property Guardians provide a practical and efficient solution.

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The Important Role Of DEX Reps In Our Houseshares

In order to keep our larger house shares running smoothly and harmoniously, we often place an experienced Property Guardian as our ‘DEX Rep’.

DEX Reps live in the property and act as a point of contact for their fellow guardians. They liaise closely with DEX’s Guardian Management Team, reporting any issues promptly and assisting with monthly inspections and viewings. Above all, they ensure the property is being well cared for, guardian guidelines are being followed and that the house has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

A Watchful Eye

DEX Reps are responsible for overseeing their fellow guardians and ensuring rules and regulations are being followed. They inform DEX promptly of any maintenance issues and help conduct regular property inspections. Their watchful eye helps ensure DEX properties are well-maintained and guardian guidelines are being adhered to.

Providing Access

As well as helping DEX in the maintenance and upkeep of the property DEX Reps also help provide access to the building. Should a client or contractor need to gain entry to the building, DEX Reps are on hand to facilitate. They also help DEX with viewings, showing new guardians around the property when they are thinking of joining the property guardian community.


DEX Rep’s provide a point of contact between DEX and their fellow property guardians. They liaise directly with the Guardian Management team reporting any maintenance issues promptly. This ensures that there are clear and effective communication channels between all parties helping to prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts.

Create a Sense of Community

DEX Reps are a point of contact for guardians in their building. They provide support and guidance to fellow guardians, ensuring they are comfortable and settled in their property. They help guardians connect and socialise with each other, often organising communal events, such as meals or film nights.

DEX Reps also help to resolve any issues or conflicts that may arise among the guardians, which help ensure a positive and supportive community within the houseshare.

Want to find out more about becoming a DEX Rep?

We are always looking to for more DEX Reps, so if you feel like you have what it takes to go that extra mile please get in contact with the Guardian Management Team today.
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Guardianship: Solving the Housing Crisis by Addressing Vacancy

As the cost of housing increases, particularly in urban areas, many young professionals are really feeling the impact of the housing crisis, finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable and flexible housing solutions. On the other hand, owners of empty commercial and residential property worry about the soaring costs associated with maintaining vacant property while securing buildings against antisocial behaviour and squatters.

As a result, property guardianship is gaining popularity in cities across the UK, providing an innovative, win-win solution to both individuals and property owners alike.  

What is Property Guardianship

Property guardianship, is a housing arrangement where fully vetted individuals live in empty or unused properties for a small monthly fee, often much cheaper than market rent, in exchange for maintaining and securing the property.

A huge range of property types can be turned into great spaces for guardians to live and thrive in, even places you might not expect. Churches, old schools, police stations and care homes can make wonderful, unique living spaces, as do more traditional houses and flats that are waiting regeneration or development. Otherwise empty buildings get a new lease of life, while providing an affordable and flexible housing solution.

Property Guardians sign a licence agreement rather than a tenancy agreement, giving more flexibility on both sides. Guardians are entitled to the same legal protection as tenants in regard to health and safety, fire and HMO legislation but both parties can terminate the agreement with 28 days’ notice.

Guardianship – Part of The Housing crisis Solution

Guardianship won’t fix the whole housing crisis and it isn’t the right for everyone, but it can be part of the solution. It’s not for families or people looking for long term housing, but for many people the flexibility suits their lifestyle, especially in today’s society.

Guardians are part of a growing community and often enjoy the social connection of living with other like-minded individuals, something that is particularly beneficial for people who are new to a city or looking to make new friends. Property Guardians are always carefully and extensively vetted, resulting in a socially responsible, professional and trusted community.

Helping the wider community

In addition to providing affordable housing options, guardianship helps address the issue of vacant properties. In many cities, there are numerous empty buildings that are boarded up and left unused for extended periods of time. Not only is this an eye sore for the local community, it can lead to a range of issues, such as vandalism, deterioration and squatters.

By allowing trusted property guardians to live in these empty properties, landlords can keep them occupied and secure, which can help to prevent these issues from occurring, positively impacting the local neighbourhood.

Next steps...

The team at DEX Property Management are here to guide you through the process of securing empty property through guardianship. Click below to find out how guardians could be securing your property within 10 days, often free of charge.

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Harmonious Property Guardian Houseshares

Sharing a house with fellow property guardians can be a great way to save money and make new friends. However, it can also bring challenges, especially when it comes to living with people who have different lifestyles and routines. To ensure things stay harmonious, here are our top tips for creating an enjoyable guardian community within our houseshare properties.

1. Open and Regular Communication

Communication is key when it comes to sharing a house with other property guardians. Make sure to have regular discussions about expectations, responsibilities, and any issues that may arise. This can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Clear Rules and Guidelines

Having a set of clear rules and guidelines can help create a sense of structure and order in the shared living space. This can include things like quiet hours, guests, shared space usage, and more. Make sure to discuss these rules with your fellow guardians and agree on what works best for everyone.

3. Fair Division of Tasks

Living with other property guardians can mean more hands to help with chores and maintenance, but it is important to divide tasks fairly. Make a schedule or assign tasks to each person to ensure a clean and organised living space.

4. Respect and Consideration

Sharing a living space with others requires a certain level of respect and consideration. Be mindful of other property guardians’ privacy, property, and personal space. Follow the rules and be considerate of others needs and feelings.

5. Compromise and Problem-Solving

Conflicts are bound to arise when living with others, but it is important to approach these conflicts with a willingness to compromise and find solutions together. Be open-minded and try to see things from your fellow guardians’ perspective.

6. Positive and Friendly Atmosphere

Encouraging a positive and friendly atmosphere can help foster a sense of community and bring property guardians closer together. Share meals, watch movies, play games, or engage in other fun activities to bond and strengthen your relationships.

7. Clean and Organised Shared Spaces

Keeping the shared spaces clean and organised can prevent build-up of dirt, grime, and clutter, making the living space much more pleasant to be in. Encourage everyone to take responsibility for maintaining a clean and tidy shared living space.

8. Share communal expenses

A cash kitty in a shared house can be a great way to manage shared expenses and ensure everyone is contributing fairly. Decide what expenses it will be used for, such as household items and cleaning supplies, agree on a reasonable contribution amount and collection system to ensure everyone is contributing fairly.  

9. Open Door Policy

Encourage open communication and have an open-door policy. Listen to any concerns or suggestions your fellow guardians may have and be willing to make changes or compromises if necessary.

10. Enjoy Each Other's Company

Finally, remember to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Sharing a house with a group of property guardians can be a great opportunity to make new friends and create long-lasting memories.


Interested in living as a property guardian in one out our shared properties? Check out our available property page to see our current vacancies.

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Utility Bills & Empty Property

With ever increasing energy prices owners of empty property are often quick to disconnect utility supply altogether, but switching everything off can be short sighted and throw up a number of problems.

Turning off electricity & gas in empty property

It can be tempting to turn off electric and gas supply to an empty property, especially as these utilities are likely to put you most out of pocket, but it’s important to think about the bigger picture for a number of reasons;

  • During cold spells pipes can freeze and burst without heating.
  • Risk of dampness, mould and rot rises with no heat.
  • Contractors and tradespeople often need power for tools to carry out work or maintenance.
  • Site visits and viewings can he hard with no lighting
  • Most providers charge disconnection and reconnection fees.
  • It can affect your insurance on the property.

Turning water off in an empty property

Escape of water claims are one of the most likely causes of damage when a property is unoccupied, but again switching everything off and draining down the water system can cause owners problems. There are often disconnection fees and it’s hard to carry out building and maintenance work if there is no running water in the property.

However, leaving stagnant water in pipes and toilets can pose a huge health risk (including exposure to the deadly legionnaires disease) and cause pipes to freeze and burst in cold weather. These can often go unnoticed for long periods in vacant property, resulting in expensive floods and water damage.

Finding a solution

One of the best solutions to both keep the property safe and to save money is appointing property guardians to come and secure and maintain the property while it is empty.

Fully vetted property guardians can move into most empty commercial and residential properties making sure it is protected round the clock. By living in the property they mitigate many of the risks of leaving a building vacant, ensuring the property is well maintained and cared for while in between uses.

Property Guardians are provided at zero cost to owners, and most properties can be turned into habitable spaces for guardians to live and thrive in. DEX’s in-house team can install temporary facilities at zero cost and in many cases utilities are paid by the guardians while they are caring for the property.

Next steps

If you have property that is currently or soon to be vacant, contact us to find out how DEX can secure empty property through Property Guardians, reducing costs, risks and complexities associated with managing vacant properties.

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Protecting Empty Property Against The Threat of Squatters

Squatters pose a huge threat to owners of empty commercial property across the UK, with unauthorised occupants causing damage to thousands of buildings across the country each year. Although the exact numbers of squatters in the UK isn’t officially recorded,  10 years ago estimated there could be as many as 50,000 individuals* squatting in the UK. Today, in a post Covid world, with the loaming cost of living crisis, that figure is expected to be significantly higher. 

The damage squatters can inflict on a property is substantial, stripping buildings of fixtures and assets, fly tipping, disrupting local communities and attract other forms of anti-social behaviour.  

The clean up cost can run into tens of thousand of pounds, repairing the damage, cleaning up the property and mitigating any reputational damage caused – and that is before you take into account the legal costs of removing the squatters. 

The law around squatting

Squatting is the act of deliberately entering a property, without permission of the owner, with the intention of living in it. Despite squatting in a residential property becoming illegal in 2012, it is still legal to squat in a commercial buildings in the UK. 

Squatting in a commercial property is actually classed as a civil offence, so unless criminal activity has taken place such as vandalism, anti-social behaviour, stealing or breaking and entering, the police will not be able to get involved. 

Squatters, or a succession of squatters can claim to become the registered owners of a property if they have occupied a property, without the owners permission for more than 10 years.  

can squatters be evicted?

Evicting squatters is the responsibility of the property owner and failure to act quickly can result in a lengthy, not to mention very expensive, court process.

Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994, property owners can legally remove squatters by applying for an Interim Possession Order (IPO), but applications for an IPO must be made within 28 days of the owner finding out that the property has been taken over.

Once the IPO has been issued by the court and served to the squatters, they must vacate the premises within 24 hours and not return for 12 months. However, squatters are often very well informed about their legal position, and the process to remove them is often not that straightforward.

the true cost of eviction

If squatters invade commercial premises, the legal fees for eviction normally start at around £5000, but owners will also be left responsible for the clean-up bill, which can be a significantly more. Repairing damage, rubbish clearance, changing locks and making the property secure again can dramatically increase the cost to owners and this is before you take into account reputational damage and loss of rent throughout the whole process. 

protecting your empty property

Squatters pose a real risk to owners of vacant property and prevention, by ensuring the property remains secure and visibly in use, is the best form of protection. Owners can install CCTV or even appoint security guards to help, but by far the most effective deterrent against squatters are Property Guardians.  

Property Guardians protect property through occupation, providing a cost-effective way to keep buildings safe and secure 24/7. They act as a strong and visible deterrent, caring for and maintaining the property, whilst bringing peace of mind to owners and the wider community. Guardians are often provided free of charge and in many cases actually provide owners with a revenue stream.

To find out more about how guardianship could help secure your property against squatters and other vacant risks, we invite you to contact us to arrange an informal chat.

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Supporting Regeneration Projects Using Property Guardians


Replacing or developing ageing estates is a complex process. Although the end goal of more efficient, sustainable homes that work better for communities is always worth it in the long run, the process can be a challenging, multifaceted one, often requiring a long term approach.

Supporting clients working within estate regeneration and development programmes has always been an area that DEX Property Management has specialised in.  Over the last decade we have provided solutions to over 50% of the G15 housing associations and 1 in 3 London councils. During this time we have developed a deep understand of the unique challenges these developments encounter and an unparalleled knowledge of how to support clients managing decant projects.

Once an estate is earmarked for regeneration, it’s important to manage and balance the ‘meanwhile phase’ to ensure the estate continues to be a positive and safe place for its remaining tenants and the wider community. As tenants are slowly moved into alternative accommodation, empty or boarded up voids can start to dilapidate or attract antisocial behaviour and even squatters. This can have a hugely disruptive and negative impact on the whole neighbourhood.  That’s where property guardians are playing an important role;

  • Property guardians are able to move into empty property and coexist alongside tenants, leaseholders and temporary accommodation households. As units become vacant, property guardians are able to move in, often within days.
  • Most properties, regardless of their decorative standard, can be turned into habitable spaces for property guardian to live and thrive in. As long as the property meets minimum requirements and has access to running water and electricity, the rest will be provided, often at zero cost – decorating, white goods and even installing temporary kitchens or bathrooms.
  • All extensively vetted, guardians are socially responsible and reliable individuals who fully understand the responsibilities of caring for and maintaining empty properties. Guardians give voids a meaningful, meanwhile use. They keep areas safe and bring life to local neighbourhoods. In return guardianship provides an affordable, safe and often central housing solution for our guardian community.
  • As well as providing a cost-effective way to keep vacant property secure, property guardians also provide clients with a revenue opportunity. Instead of having to pay to secure void units, money back is often paid for each guardian in situ.
  • Finally, guardians fully understand their flexible living arrangement, so when it’s time to hand the property back, they provide vacant possession in just 30 days. Many of our guardians have been with us for many years and we always help them move on to care for their next property.

To find out more about how guardians could help you with your next project contact us on or click here.